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How did the vote break down? I assume Gonzalez was on the Mayor's side?

Yes, he was. He argued for it. Brenda Stardig and Wanda Adams voted against it, along with Jo Jones and Bradford. I'm sure Clutterbuck was against, as well. Not sure about the rest, I'll get that later.

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I was here before you "preservationists". It is because of people like me that you thought the Heights was worth moving to. If I were to tell you to go f yourself, would you find that offensive? Becau

This is not a bully and name calling situation so much as forcefully pointing out the callousness of your position. You and others claim that your position and this ordinance protects the character a

http://swamplot.com/houstons-historic-districts-will-remain-as-they-are/2011-01-04/ It is over. All districts surveyed failed to muster the 51% needed to opt out. Yes, I know. You all are going

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How did the vote break down? I assume Gonzalez was on the Mayor's side?

The 8 to 7 vote was:

In Favor:

Parker

Lovell

Noriega

Huang

Rodriguez

Costello and of course

Gonzalez

Opposed:

Jones

Bradford

Sullivan

Johnson

Adams

Clutterbuck

Pennington

Stardig

Everyone needs to write our 8 supporters and THANK THEM for some sanity and reason. They vote for this where the community seems to support it and didn't where they KNOW the community does not! We need to let them know how much we appreciate their support and will remember them in November and with our campaign contributions. We also need to tell the seven who voted against PROPERTY RIGHTS that we won't forget in November!! We especially need to go after Costell and Noriega who are At-Large and everyone of us gets to vote against them. And of course, there is Gonzalez, who is toast!

I will make a list of council member addresses and post a little later so you can all email them to let them know you will have their back because they had ours!

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The 8 to 7 vote was:

In Favor:

Parker

Lovell

Noriega

Huang

Rodriguez

Costello and of course

Gonzalez

I am surprised to see that Huang voted in favor of the ordinance; he seemed to have realized that there were major flaws with it in previous council meetings.

I am however very relieved to see that council is at the very least paying attention to the people! What comes now is going to be interesting....I do not know what the planning department is going to do with it? The planning folks do not want to change it, they have already recommended adopting it in its entirety. Hopefully a real yes/no vote can actually be had that is all I really want.

I would absolutely love to see the real support for this ordinance. I would gladly walk away saying I have been outvoted if they can prove to me that they have 66% of the property without including the city owned properties in their support. They do not have it...they do not even have 51% as originally required. So what comes next is sure to be more partisan politics.

A win for the anti-ordinance crowd for sure. Where it goes from here I anxiously await.

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Does anyone know the thinking behind use of the term "potentially contributing structure" in the ordinance? Unless I am missing something, the only place I see it used is in the definition of "contributing structure," which is defined to include any structure deemed potentially contributing in an historic district designated as such before October 13, 2010. Using Heights East as a sample, a quick count shows 769 total lots, with 196 (25.5%) contributing, 484 (62.9%) potentially contributing, and 89 (11.6%) non-contributing or vacant. Under the terms of the ordinance, one could claim that 88.4% of the structures in Heights East "contribute to the historic significance of the district" since Heights East was designated an historic district before October 13, 2010. But if those same percentages were applied to the proposed Heights South District, only 25.5% would contribute to the historic significance of the district.

This ordinance, and the city's "attempt" to comply with ordinance, is flawed in so many ways. Hard to argue with that regardless of the color of your yard sign, IMHO. This is another example. You could have the same structure in two different districts, and in one it could be contributing and in the other it could be non-contributing.

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Does anyone know the thinking behind use of the term "potentially contributing structure" in the ordinance? Unless I am missing something, the only place I see it used is in the definition of "contributing structure," which is defined to include any structure deemed potentially contributing in an historic district designated as such before October 13, 2010. Using Heights East as a sample, a quick count shows 769 total lots, with 196 (25.5%) contributing, 484 (62.9%) potentially contributing, and 89 (11.6%) non-contributing or vacant. Under the terms of the ordinance, one could claim that 88.4% of the structures in Heights East "contribute to the historic significance of the district" since Heights East was designated an historic district before October 13, 2010. But if those same percentages were applied to the proposed Heights South District, only 25.5% would contribute to the historic significance of the district.

This ordinance, and the city's "attempt" to comply with ordinance, is flawed in so many ways. Hard to argue with that regardless of the color of your yard sign, IMHO. This is another example. You could have the same structure in two different districts, and in one it could be contributing and in the other it could be non-contributing.

Under the old ordinance there were two classifications: contributing and potentially contributing. Contributing structures were pretty much as they were built. Potentially contributing structures may have undergone some changes. They may have dormers, a different porch railing, an enclosed porch or different windows. These are just some examples of the changes that might have resulted in a PC classification. There are many others.

Having two different classifications was confusing and not consistent with federal criteria used by the NRHP. To achieve consistency and eliminate the confusion, the new ordinance contains just the one classification of contributing. No matter whether PC or C under the old ordinance, they are all now considered Cs and are important to the inventory and maintaining the historic integrity of the district.

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And of course, there is Gonzalez, who is toast!

Just speculating here.... Because the city is redistricting, maybe Gonzalez will not be representing the Heights after redistricting. He may have already made a deal with MAP to remove him from the oppositon and anger that he has created by his support for the ordinance. Maybe district H will become a district with mostly Hispanic residents and one that is not designated historic.

If this is true, we really do not have any representation on Council except for the at-large seats. Gonzalez may be voting for Parker's plan with impunity.

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No matter whether PC or C under the old ordinance, they are all now considered Cs and are important to the inventory and maintaining the historic integrity of the district.

I disagree with your conclusion that PCs are now all considered Cs. That is true only for a district created before October 13, 2010. For any district formed after that, they are considered NCs. And therefore, by definition (under the ordinance) they do not "maintain the historic integrity of the district." Once again, if the percentages from Heights East were applied to a post-October 13, 2010 district, almost 75% of the lots would be occupied by non-contributing structures. (I am ignoring for right the now the handful of vacant lots).

Is anyone aware of any other municipality that attempts to impose these types of requirements on all property in an area where only a relatively small number of structures are "contributing"? All of the other historic districts that I have seen are more narrowly focused to cover a high percentage of "contributing" structures.

If the City wants PCs to be Cs going forward, they need to revise the ordinance. But the cynic in me knows that will not happen, because once the door is open for that amendment, it would also be open for amendments that would give us a real vote.

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I disagree with your conclusion that PCs are now all considered Cs. That is true only for a district created before October 13, 2010. For any district formed after that, they are considered NCs. And therefore, by definition (under the ordinance) they do not "maintain the historic integrity of the district." Once again, if the percentages from Heights East were applied to a post-October 13, 2010 district, almost 75% of the lots would be occupied by non-contributing structures. (I am ignoring for right the now the handful of vacant lots).

Is anyone aware of any other municipality that attempts to impose these types of requirements on all property in an area where only a relatively small number of structures are "contributing"? All of the other historic districts that I have seen are more narrowly focused to cover a high percentage of "contributing" structures.

If the City wants PCs to be Cs going forward, they need to revise the ordinance. But the cynic in me knows that will not happen, because once the door is open for that amendment, it would also be open for amendments that would give us a real vote.

No. That is not correct. PC simply doesn't exist anymore. That does not mean they become NC in any new districts. A property that has undergone some changes can still contribute to the district. The HAHC is monthly approving changes that do not endanger the integrity of structures or their classifications. Check out a;; that is getting approved.

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The South Heights district is currently in 'pending" status, awaiting to be brought before City Council for a vote. With the budget and Redistricting issues occupying all of Council's time, it is not expected to come up for a vote until likely May.

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Just speculating here.... Because the city is redistricting, maybe Gonzalez will not be representing the Heights after redistricting. He may have already made a deal with MAP to remove him from the oppositon and anger that he has created by his support for the ordinance. Maybe district H will become a district with mostly Hispanic residents and one that is not designated historic.

If this is true, we really do not have any representation on Council except for the at-large seats. Gonzalez may be voting for Parker's plan with impunity.

Gonzalez has known for months that he likely will not have the Heights in his district. It was even brought up at a council meeting. They know he isn't representing his constituents which contributed to why they were willing to vote against the report. They normally try to support one another. If you watched the vote, sevearl went after him for his defense of the process. They are more than aware of the deals he cut with MAP and they don't like it.

Between Wal-mart and the HPO issue, he knew he would't have to face any political consequences, or so he thought. He can run, but he can't hide. He will face a serious challenger. A Hispanic will step up to run against him and if they court the Hispanic groups, he won't get re-elected. People in the Heights will support his opposition whether he has the Heights in his district or not. People think he is a nice guy with no backbone and just a pawn of Parker.

The map comes out today.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What then is the current status of the Heights South?

On an empty piece of land that I own currently, am I able to get a permit for construction without getting any type of historical commission approval? same with repairs to existing homes?

The South Heights district is currently in 'pending" status, awaiting to be brought before City Council for a vote. With the budget and Redistricting issues occupying all of Council's time, it is not expected to come up for a vote until likely May.

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What then is the current status of the Heights South?

On an empty piece of land that I own currently, am I able to get a permit for construction without getting any type of historical commission approval? same with repairs to existing homes?

Nope! You have to get permission from the HAHC for everything. Once the application is filed, the city says you are in a pending districts and all rules apply. The city council needs to vote on the South district and the mayor doesn't want to put it on the agenda because she knows that there aren't the votes for them to pass. She may think she can hold out until she has a new city council in January of 2012.

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Why thank you for such a quick response.

I went back and read the ordinance related to pending districts to learn if they can go on indefinitely. There is some language written in their that relates to termination of the pending status. Item 4 caught my eye and I wonder if this applies to Heights South in the current situation?

(B) The protected status provided in subsection (a) above ends on the earliest

of the following dates:

4. In the case of an application for designation of an historic district initiated

by property owners, the 181st day after the director determines the

application is initially complete

;

Nope! You have to get permission from the HAHC for everything. Once the application is filed, the city says you are in a pending districts and all rules apply. The city council needs to vote on the South district and the mayor doesn't want to put it on the agenda because she knows that there aren't the votes for them to pass. She may think she can hold out until she has a new city council in January of 2012.

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  • 1 year later...

The demo that occurred yesterday in the 900 block of Columbia, where literally 3/4 of the "historic" home was allowed to be removed, showcases to me how much of a hollywood idea this ordinance represents. Take a drive by and see how silly this looks in an attempt to appease the preservation mentality. If this is how one defines preservation, whereby the facade is preserved and the rest is new, i continue to find fault with the overall intent of the ordinance. Laughable implementation.

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What is a bit amusing about that house is that very little of it was "original". The owner built the house, but then continually added onto it as his family grew to 8 or 9 people. The new owners had photos that showed all of the add-ons over the years, so the HAHC allowed demo of all of the add-ons. Only about the front 13 feet of the house is left. The new owners are really nice people, though, and will do a good job with the remodel. They are a welcome addition to the block. We certainly could have done much worse...say, like having some preservationists move in.

I wish them luck in navigating the City minefield.

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They will need all of your luck to navigate the minefields. Im sure everyone in favor of the ordinance will be comforted knowing that they are living in a Historic Home-(all 500 square feet of it)

IMG_20121214_02195.jpg

Wow - what a waste of time/effort. It would cost 50% less to just start from scratch, turn out 50% better, 90% more efficient, and look just as historic. But by god we must save the OLD to prevent real progress! Cant somebody please think of the children!!!

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I imagine that without the pictures they would have been stuck with the old patchwork construction that comprises most of the old homes. Or perhaps one would have to hire forensic architects to defend your property rights before the stewards of history. After watching them torch the poor guy trying to add a column to his porch, you'd better have a good case with hard evidence. All I have is hearsay, but I'm going in with just the mailbox.

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I just spent lunch and part of the afternoon with an architect who does a lot of work at HAHC. You wouldn't believe his stories. No one with a substantial remodel gets through the HAHC on the first try, even with professionals who know the statue. And, pity the fool who goes by himself. There are far too many people on the board who know nothing about architecture or historic homes. They are still obsessed with the idea that renovations should be done in a manner that future homeowners might tear them down to go back to the original house,,,as if someone would buy a house for $500,000, then tear down the 1,500 square foot addition, turning a $200 per square foot house into a $500 per square foot house. Pure delusion.

Yet, there are a few people who actually agree with them. Not a majority by any stretch, but a few nonetheless. Unfortunately, one of them is mayor...for a few more years.

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I seriously cant believe all you people are against preservation. You want The Heights to turn into Montrose. I moved to The Heights because large parts of it are now preserved. If you dont like preservation, than move to Kingwood or Bellaire.

I was here before you "preservationists". It is because of people like me that you thought the Heights was worth moving to. If I were to tell you to go f yourself, would you find that offensive? Because moving into my hood and telling me to leave certainly is.

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How can you seriously be against preservation? Do you want all of the Heights to be eventually torn down and replaced with giant faux historic McMansions?

If you are too lazy to read the first 29 pages of this thread, why should I waste my time explaining myself AGAIN? If you are too lazy to read and too in love with government interference with my right to preserve my property in a way that suits my needs and tastes, perhaps you should leave the Heights and move to Kingwood or Bellaire. We prefer intelligent neighbors.

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Youre right, Im sorry, lets just forgo Houstons history and let it all dissapear, who cares I guess anyways.

Which era of history do you wish to preserve, and which one do you wish to see fall by the wayside?

Architecture and music have much in common. Your parents hated what you listened to and you feel this generations music is hollow and contrived. In 50 years some overbearing group will be protesting the destruction of McMansions for the purpose of building the latest faux-neo-classic-Victorian-revival-du jour. I hope you hold true to your word and protest this outrageous destruction of historic Houston architecture.

Edited by TGM
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Youre right, Im sorry, lets just forgo Houstons history and let it all dissapear, who cares I guess anyways.

This message board has been occupied by historic preservation haters who try to use it as their echo chamber to convince themselves that their hatred for the historic districts is shared by the overwhelming majority of residents in the Heights. Anyone who comes on here and disagrees with their view point will be pilloried until they give in and stop posting, leading the historic preservation haters to think that their hate for the districts has been validated because they have bullied people away from a message board.

Of course the reality is that the historic districts are just fine and are even expanding (Germantown HD next to Woodland Heights was just added). The predictions of property values diving and the Heights turning into a slum because no one will rennovate homes turned out to be 180 degrees in the wrong direction. So, the haters are left to their little internet message board to try to validate their irrational hatred for the historic preservation ordinance and those who worked so hard to get real protection for historic homes in the Heights. That is why they are so threatened whenever anyone tries to crash their little party. Keep posting if you want. It is more entertaining that talking about reality shows with staff in the break room at work.

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They will need all of your luck to navigate the minefields. Im sure everyone in favor of the ordinance will be comforted knowing that they are living in a Historic Home-(all 500 square feet of it)

IMG_20121214_02195.jpg

This is the "historic preservation" that s3mh and photolitherland support. This is what s3mh thinks is "just fine". Take your intellectual dishonesty to Kingwood or Bellaire. Your claim to preservation is a fraud.

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I don't have a problem with preservation. What I have a problem with is people who come in after I purchase a property and try to impose new rules on what I can do with that property, especially when the rules they impose are to enforce their sense of esthetics. I would have had no real objection to the historic district ordinances if there was an opt out for current owners.

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I have no intention of tearing down and building a mc-whatever. I'm not in the historic district. I'm pro preservation, but the historic ordinance is far from anything I could ever support. It was intentionally misleading, unsupported, and overbearing (not to mention it actually supports construction that is not only not historic, but downright ugly).

Who asked for the troll for christmas?

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Unsupported? I talk to tons of people in The Heights and everyone Ive talked to hates seeing historic houses torn down and are in support of the historic preservation ordinances. I dont know where you anti preservation people are hiding out but you make up the minority. What is happening in the Montrose is a travesty. I remember a couple months ago there were 4 beautiful Queen Anne styled homes back near the gay clubs that were in just fine shape and I drove past the block yesterday and they were all destroyed and crap 3 story condos are now rising in their place. Its disgusting and pisses me off to no end. This city doesnt have much history and as much of it that still exists needs to be fully protected from tear downs or renovations that rip off the back 2/3rds of the house to be replaced by a new 2 story addition. Every other progressive city in the nation has fully protected historic districts. Hell, even Little Rock has fully protected historic districts. What would have happened if the French Quarter in New Orleans wasnt protected? Do you think the people living there would want to see New Orleans torn down and replaced with 3 story tin sided condos? Vast areas of NYC are fully protected in historic districts and you dont see the people of that city bitching about preservation ordinances. Hell, even Galveston has better preservation ordinances than Houston. This cities small amount of history needs to be protected and restored, not torn down. You anti preservation people kind of remind me of NRA members. The western part of The Heights has been largely plowed over and replaced with faux historic houses and that part of The Heights seems so desolate and ugly, while the eastern section of The Heights still is largely intact and its so lovely to walk around the streets with the old bungalows and late Victorian architecture dominating the area. I live on Beverly St. and even in the last year Ive seen dozens upon dozens of beautiful bungalows get torn down and replaced by gigantic homes that dont at all fit in with their surroundings.

Edited by photolitherland
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I have no intention of tearing down and building a mc-whatever. I'm not in the historic district. I'm pro preservation, but the historic ordinance is far from anything I could ever support. It was intentionally misleading, unsupported, and overbearing (not to mention it actually supports construction that is not only not historic, but downright ugly).

Who asked for the troll for christmas?

Same here. One can easily pick out the non-readers in this forum, the audio book crowd. They immediately give themselves away by demonstrating an inability to discern between anti-ordinance posters and anti-preservation posters. It is possible to have civil discourse between readers with different opinions, but non-readers are nothing more than oxygen thieves in public forums.

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This is the "historic preservation" that s3mh and photolitherland support. This is what s3mh thinks is "just fine". Take your intellectual dishonesty to Kingwood or Bellaire. Your claim to preservation is a fraud.

Warning: Keep it civil. No more flaming or name-calling is going to be allowed.

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So, photolitherland claims he moved to the Heights because it is historic district protected, but then notes that he lives on Beverly Street, which is NOT in a historic district. That figures. He doesn't want HIS house encumbered by restrictions, but supports restricting mine. Typical.

At least he doesn't live on my street. We have 100% opposition on my block (I know. I collected the signatures.), and we'd like to keep it that way as we await the day that we return our block to the way Beverly Street is.

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Red's Hypocrisy Detector went off scale last night.

It did. And then Subdude ran over to slap my hand for it. Anyone notice that I got warned for using the identical language in my post that photlitherland used, yet Subdude only saw fit to slap me for it?

My arguments must be effective if the refs only throw flags on me and no one else for the same conduct. :lol:

(actually, in fairness to Subdude, he likely only looked at my post because s3mh complained about it without mentioning litherland's post that started it. Besides, my skin is thick. I've taken worse hits.)

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Same here. One can easily pick out the non-readers in this forum, the audio book crowd. They immediately give themselves away by demonstrating an inability to discern between anti-ordinance posters and anti-preservation posters. It is possible to have civil discourse between readers with different opinions, but non-readers are nothing more than oxygen thieves in public forums.

I've been tempted numerous times to dare the so-called "preservation supporters" to compare their "pro-preservation" dwellings against our "anti-preservation" dwellings. I am quite confident that the improvements made to our homes would blow the preservation pretenders out of the water. I only hold back from doing so because I am not at all interested in letting these people know where I live. They are, after all, the ones who take pictures of old houses in order to snitch us out to the city. I am not going to make their snitching easier by telling them where to find me.

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So, photolitherland claims he moved to the Heights because it is historic district protected, but then notes that he lives on Beverly Street, which is NOT in a historic district. That figures. He doesn't want HIS house encumbered by restrictions, but supports restricting mine. Typical.

At least he doesn't live on my street. We have 100% opposition on my block (I know. I collected the signatures.), and we'd like to keep it that way as we await the day that we return our block to the way Beverly Street is.

I dont own a home, I rent so I have no say in what the owner does to this house. He told me he plans on tearing it down eventually and replacing it with a crap 3 story condo. If I owned a house I would restore it to the way it looked in the 20s. I wish this house were in the historic district. If you dont want historic districts than slowly but surely all of the Heights and all of the cities other historic structures will be replaced with shit new buildings. If you want to own a home and do whatever you please with it than get out of the Heights and move to the burbs where life is boring and generic.

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Renter. Troll. I'm done. I owned my house before there was a historic district. I'll own it after you're gone. And one day I will succeed in getting rid o the historic district. When that happens, I invite you back to weep for the old homes.

Now, like I said, I'm done. I will not waste my time debating renters who have no skin invested in the game. Your opinions are worthless to homeowners.

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It did. And then Subdude ran over to slap my hand for it. Anyone notice that I got warned for using the identical language in my post that photlitherland used, yet Subdude only saw fit to slap me for it?

My arguments must be effective if the refs only throw flags on me and no one else for the same conduct. :lol:

(actually, in fairness to Subdude, he likely only looked at my post because s3mh complained about it without mentioning litherland's post that started it. Besides, my skin is thick. I've taken worse hits.)

I've never complained about any of your posts. I like it when you start with your childish name calling. It is a sure sign that I am right and you are wrong. Also, given the ideological slant of the majority of those posting on this message board, I have the definition of thick skin to be posting on here.

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I've been tempted numerous times to dare the so-called "preservation supporters" to compare their "pro-preservation" dwellings against our "anti-preservation" dwellings. I am quite confident that the improvements made to our homes would blow the preservation pretenders out of the water. I only hold back from doing so because I am not at all interested in letting these people know where I live. They are, after all, the ones who take pictures of old houses in order to snitch us out to the city. I am not going to make their snitching easier by telling them where to find me.

Yeah, taking pictures of strangers' homes and using them to advance your political agenda is something that only those awful preservationists would do.

Oops:

http://blogs.har.com/774/12571/Renovations-we-won-t-see-anymore-in-the-Houston-Heights--Examples-from-the-East-Historic-District/

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I know I shouldn't even respond, but I could not let this rant stand unchallenged lest some ignorant non-reader buys into it.

This message board has been occupied....

The secret Occupy HAIF movement is now exposed to the world, oh my!

by historic preservation haters....

Non-reader alert!

who try to use it as their echo chamber to convince themselves that their hatred for the historic districts is shared by the overwhelming majority of residents in the Heights....

Are you including dog and squirrel votes in your majority too? No doubt you include renters (old, unimproved homes have lower rents), new-build owners (kills the competition for best homes), outside of HD owners (higher comparable re-sale value, see Norhill Addition), and non-contributing structures (HD? What HD?). But for humans with skin in the game, i.e. Texas property owners of land in the HD with a structure burdened by the ordinance, I challenge your unsubstantiated claim of overwhelming majority. And if that is true, why did the city not use a simple up-or-down vote by only impacted owners on a sanctioned election cycle?

Anyone who comes on here and disagrees with their view point will be pilloried until they give in and stop posting, leading the historic preservation haters to think that their hate for the districts has been validated because they have bullied people away from a message board.

TRANSLATED: City Ordinance Lovers can attempt to justify their adulation by posting here, but be aware that BS will be called and responded to by proud Texans with a clear, rational and stinging rebuke.

Of course the reality is that the historic districts are just fine and are even expanding (Germantown HD next to Woodland Heights was just added).

Also known as the I-45 Expansion Defense Historic District.

The predictions of property values diving and the Heights turning into a slum because no one will rennovate (sic) homes turned out to be 180 degrees in the wrong direction.

And your source for these rash predictions are....hearsay? And 180 degrees is....hyperbole?

So, the haters are left to their little internet message board...

You mean those opposed to the ordinance eloquently set forth and defend their position in the most active neighborhood message board in "HAIF - Houston's Leading News Forum".

...to try to validate their irrational hatred for the historic preservation ordinance...

No validation is required when defending one's property rights in Texas from politicians pandering to River Oaks elitists and wannabes (see HAHC Chairman and the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance)

and those who worked so hard to get real protection for historic homes in the Heights. That is why they are so threatened whenever anyone tries to crash their little party.

Now don't get your feelings hurt. I do not hate you, I don't even know you. I think you put a lot of effort into something you support, and I respect that effort, no matter how misguided it may be. And this is your party, like it or not.

Keep posting if you want. It is more entertaining that talking about reality shows with staff in the break room at work.

Do I detect a tad of elitism here? Did staff have a nice holiday or two? Did staff enjoy the pot-luck holiday luncheon management allowed? Sorry, just kidding, don’t call Subdude on me. Oh, and Happy New Year to all the HAIFers, where ever you live whatever you post!

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